The experience of Bulgaria as a county that has successfully transitioned towards democracy in the last 25 years was perceived as very valuable for Morocco in the context of the ongoing political reforms in the country. This was the underlining messages of the meetings held with party leaders, young politicians, locally elected representatives, and civil society members during a trip at the end of February to Morocco of Dr. Irina Alexieva, Executive Director of The Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza” and Ms. Yordanka Evgenieva, manager of the international projects at the school. The same vision was shared and by Mr. Andrey Azoulay, adviser to the king of Morocco and former president of the Anna Lindh Foundation, who welcomed warmly the work that the Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza” does in Morocco and in particular expressed his support for the need of more intense experience sharing between Bulgaria and Morocco in the field of democracy building.
The visit took place in the context of the project “Supporting the Creation of a Multiparty Dialogue in Times of Transition: Experience Sharing between Bulgaria and Morocco”, which is funded by Robert Bosch Stiftung and implemented in partnership with the Citizen School for Political Studies in Morocco. It is in line with the continuous support provided by the Bulgarian School of Politics for the institutional capacity building of the Citizen School of Political Studies in Morocco. The specific goal of the visit was to present the results of the training needs assessment of the political parties in Morocco, which was conducted at the end of 2014 and to begin the implementation of the Action Plan for the inclusion of the political parties in the training programmes of the Citizen School for Political Studies in Morocco. Meetings were held with high-ranking representatives of all parliamentary represented parties as well as with a number of parties, which are represented on local level.
During the visit, several additional meetings were held with Mr. Driss El Yazami, the president of the National Council of Human Rights and with Mr. Mustapha Khalfi, the Minister of communication and the Speaker of the government. Mr. Khalfi expressed his support for our efforts to contribute towards the development of the multi-party democracy in Morocco based on the principals of good governance and the rule of law. The week-long meetings ended with a focus group with 25 participants, including locally elected politicians from around the country, alumni of the Citizen School of Political Studies and of the Summer Academy for Strengthening Democracy in the Euro-Med Region and members of the Scientific Council of the Citizen School of Political Studies in Morocco. The topics of the discussion were the training needs of the political parties in Morocco and in particular the acute necessity for programmes that empower women and youth. In the conclusive remarks all participants shared the opinion that a multi-party and multi-stake holder format of training will be highly beneficial for the promotion of culture of democratic governance.